"Chippendale" Wood Screen Door

14 Materials
6 Hours
This wood screen door tutorial can help you save when its' time to replace your screen door. It cost us just around $30 in supplies as we already had a few things on hand, but you could build it for around $60 if you had to buy all the materials.
More often than not we take to DIYing projects out of financial necessity. This new wood screen door is no exception.
I really loved the pattern on the door, but not the price tag. It didn't take any effort to convince the Mr. to build it for me.
Off to Rona to pick up some 2 x 4's, 1 x 2's and a 2 x 6. Choosing very straight boards is essential.
Assemble the frame, ensuring it is square before you fasten it all together using counter sunk 3 inch screws.
Start the pattern by building an X across the lower half with the 1 x 2's. This gives you 4 quadrants to repeat the pattern. We started with the top quadrant and worked counter clockwise.
A 3 inch space between the 1 x 2's ensured an even spacing all the way throughout as we continued to repeat the pattern in each quadrant.
After the second quadrant was finished, the last two zipped along easily and quickly.
And before we knew it, the pattern was finished, and we were dry fitting it to the frame before filling screw holes and giving it a good sanding to prep for painting.
We choose to paint it white, but you could just as easily stain it instead.
You can see the entire tutorial on the blog at www.redcottagechronicles.com as I tried to capture the process as Tim went about his work.

Red Cottage Chronicles
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  28 questions
  • Tara Hanley Tara Hanley on Nov 11, 2015
    Is there trim on the inside of the door to hide the screen? Or,how is the screen attached? Thanks!
    • Red Cottage Chronicles Red Cottage Chronicles on Nov 11, 2015
      @Tara Hanley The screen is attached with staples and then we used a small molding to cover the staples and give it a finished look! I am not sure if you clicked over to the blog, but there is a close up of the inside door handle that shows the trim around the screen. I was actually worried the screen might get pushed out if people push on the screen to open it, but it is still going strong!
  • Ste4398937 Ste4398937 on Mar 22, 2016
    What's the joints but or what?
  • Bru7742673 Bru7742673 on Jul 09, 2018

    How did by install the screen?

  • Karen Karen on Jul 09, 2018

    I found NO REFERENCE to your "Chippendale" screen door project on your blog where you reference how the screen is attached. Is it, in fact, there??

  • Ambrit Ambrit on Jul 09, 2018

    I love this! I am wondering for the smaller pieces of wood that form the pattern, how were they attached together? Wood glue?

    • Jeremy Johnson Jeremy Johnson on Jul 09, 2018

      From the pictures, I can see they used a pneumatic nailer with brads/pins. I would also use wood glue.

    • Jenny Jenny on Jul 09, 2018

      Sorry for ignorance, I’m British and we don’t have screen doors here. But oh how I wish we did! I really, really want one. So, please can you explain how you’ve attached the screen to the door and is it some sort of wire (rust proof?) mesh to make the actual screen part. At what stage did you put the screen on/in and how?

      I absolutely LOVE your door. Coming to the U.K. anytime soon? 🤗

  • Dawn Dawn on Jul 09, 2018

    How did you attach screen. Staples?

    By the way it looks beautiful

    • TJ TJ on Jul 09, 2018

      Hello Dawn,

      I wouldn't recommend using staples. But would suggest you cut a kerf (a groove) 1/8th deep, at a 1/4" from the edge where the screening will be placed.

      The kerf would need to go around all four sides of the top & bottom sections of the screen door framing.

      One kerf at the bottom edge of the top crosspiece, two legs located at both, the top and bottom of the center crosspiece and a kerf along the upper edge of the bottom crosspiece.

      Then on each side of the top and bottom sections.

      Just be sure your kerf is an 1/8th of an inch deep. And a 1/4 of an inch from the edges.

      Lat your screening fabric so merely a 1/4" extends over all of the kerfs.

      Then you can purchase rubber spline. (It's like a long, "rubberized string of spaghetti".)

      You can usually find screening spline at HomeDepot, Lowe's and other hardware stores.

      While your at it, you may also want to purchase a spline wheel, too.

      The spline wheel is specifically designed to help push the spline down into the kerf.

      Care fully, you may start by using the round tip of the handle on a teaspoon to invert the screening into the kerf, first.

      Then place the spline at the center, top section of both the top & bottom areas to be screened.

      Gradially, as you begin laying the spline into the kerf, follow the spline closely with the spline wheel, applying a sufficient amount of pressure, so the spline pushes the screening material and the spline into the kerf.

      In most instances, a piece of spline may be long enough to go completely around each piece of screening. So two separate pieces of spline may be needed for the top & bottom sections of the door being screened.

      As you go all the way around and meet up where you had begun, you usually have a small section of spline over-lapping. Don't allow for the spline to overlap. Just cut off the extra spline and allow for the end to simply come in contact with the tip of the other end of the spline.

      Finally should there be any screening material sticking up along the edge, you can hide both the excess screening material, as well as the spline.

      This can be done by purchasing 1/2" wide trim strips of wood.

      Measure and cut each trim pieces for proper lengths and cut the ends on a 45° angle, so each piece appears on a finished angle.

      Take each trim piece with the bottom side facing up. Then slide the trim piece up against the excess screening material.

      Then "fold" the trim piece over the material and spline. Followed by using "Headless" Brad Nails.

      Tap the Brad Nails into and through the trim strips, at 1/3 of the width. This will allow for the Brad Nails to go into the wood beneath it; and not into the spline.

      Space your Brad Nails about every 6" - 8" apart. You can either alternate from side to side of each trim strip. Or align the Brad Nails along the same side of the trim strip.

      The trim strips can be either stained or painted the same color as the door itself. Or paint the trim strips white, as an accent from the main color of the screen door.

      Do Not Use Glue on the trim strips! In the event should you need to replace your door's screening because of a tear or hole, it will be difficult to remove the trim strips!

      Also, don't use staples on the trim strips. Stapling may cause for your trim strips to split!

      To expedite attaching your trim strips, you could use a nail gun that accommodates Brad Nails.

      Bit again, be careful of the power of the nail gun! It too may cause for your trim strips to split.

      And should you stick with using a hammer, use a Brad Hammer or a very light-weight hammer.

      When hammering the Brad down, you need to be careful of not hitting the trim strip surfaces. Otherwise, you'll have hammer indentations.

      Hammer the Brad Nails down to about 1/8th of an inch above the trim strips.

      Then use a Nail Set on top of each nail to sink it flushed with the top of the strips.

      Or counter-sink each nail, below the surface of the strips. Then cover each counter-sunked nail with a wood filler, BEFORE staining or painting.

      In closing, I hope the above helps you!

      A former Lic. Professional

      General Contractor in

      Building, Remodeling and

      Restoration. 50+ Years of


    • Ste4902615 Ste4902615 on Jul 09, 2018

      Tj... So VERY detailed! You must have been a great teacher!

  • Shelia Dooley Carroll Shelia Dooley Carroll on Jul 09, 2018

    Can this be sold already built?

    • Sandra Harvey Sandra Harvey on Jul 09, 2018

      I know you can get a plain wooden screen door at most hardware stores and the ones I’ve seen weren’t expensive at all. If you’re like me and don’t have a husband to build things for you I do think it would be fairly easy to create a similar look on a pre bought door . I know I’m going to try it as a 1x2 is easy to saw through .

  • 1PastaLady 1PastaLady on Jul 09, 2018

    WOW! I love that door. My son told me to get a hobby and I've gotten interested in building. This would be an excellent project; either it can Go and become awesome or look like the scream painting. 😬😬☹️☹️

    I was wondering if you could take pictures of your backyard? I was noticing your deck and your whatnots; flowers etc. 😉

  • Carmen Carmen on Jul 09, 2018

    This really beautiful and looks easy enough for even me! I know this was answered before in very detail. But I’m interested to know how YOU attached the screen.

  • Jdi22366718 Jdi22366718 on Jul 09, 2018

    This is so nice and you did such a good job I want to try this project. What kind of wood did you choose?

    • Karen Karen on Jul 09, 2018

      it looks like Pine. I would suggest pine as it's a good wood for painting.

    • Blake Blake on Jul 10, 2018

      Pine is nice, but has quite a few knots. Douglas fir has a nice texture and does not have as many knots.

  • Michelle Clayton Michelle Clayton on Jul 09, 2018

    Did this replace a wooden screen door or one of the horrible aluminum with slider glass panel like I have? I would love to do this project but am not sure how to put it in place of my aluminum existing storm door.

    • Jo Ann Stidman Jo Ann Stidman on Jul 09, 2018

      I have the same ugly screen aluminum w/ slider glass too. I was viewing this project and thinking if I might be able to add these panels to the front of the aluminum door with the same results. My door is the older version. I had already planned to paint it black with the main door in a black also. Also considering using whatever lite weight material I can find.....maybe blind slats...........gives us something to think about....

  • Cne27643349 Cne27643349 on Jul 09, 2018

    Love the door but did u screen it

  • Mrs B Mrs B on Jul 11, 2018

    I'm another one with the aluminum door with slider window! Have wanted to replace it for years and this is a beautiful replacement :) I can see it is screened, but am wondering what you do in the colder months - how do you cover the screen to keep cold/snow out?

  • Jen Jen on Jul 11, 2018

    how did you attach the screen and finish it off on the inside so it doesn't just look like you stapled a screen to wood?

    • Gaelle Gaelle on Jul 14, 2018

      You could just cover the edge of the screen with thin 1/2 inch lathe or slat material after you staple it on if that's the way you choose to attach it.

    • Don17514435 Don17514435 on Jul 16, 2018

      Purchase the same rubber spline used in metal screen doors to hold the schreen in place at your big box store.

      In the four major frame pieces rout a groove the width recommended for the spline about 1/2" from the inside edge (both top and bottom edge of the center crossbar.

      They have a little tool with a wheel to press the spline in place stretching the screen material taught. Since it has a very neat appearance, I didn't add molding to cover.

  • Cheryl Denton Cheryl Denton on Jul 16, 2018

    Wouldn’t it sag looks heavy and you didn’t tell us how to attach hinges

  • Brenda McMullen Brenda McMullen on Jul 16, 2018

    Looks wonderful , what color red is your cottage painted .... love it .

  • Becky Becky on Jul 16, 2018

    Could you also router out a channel on the interior of this space to place the smaller decorative boards or at least the areas where the boards meet the door frame ?

  • Lori Lori on Jul 16, 2018

    Yes it is cute.. How did you put the screen in?

    • Maryann Bedell Darr Maryann Bedell Darr on Jul 16, 2018

      I think with screens that you put a groove into the wood all the way around the length and width of the door. This is to feed the screen in and then come along with finishing nails. I could be wrong though.

    • Jdz5532765 Jdz5532765 on Jul 16, 2018

      You can find kits at home improvement centers. Replaced window screens, would think it would work for door screen

    • Tom Tom on Jul 16, 2018

      Straight up, place the door with " out" side down. Stretch screen material across entire opening and attach to door with light duty staples. You can either do entire do entire door or do top and bottom sections separately. Align 3/4" trim to cover staples and match edge up with lip of opening in door. Attach trim with either 1" wire beads or staples. Trim is easily removed with a putty knife to replace screen should it become damaged

    • Debbie Paul Child Debbie Paul Child on Jul 17, 2018

      If you have a router do a small groove around inside of door then get the screen rubber piece and stretch screen across the door and insert the rubber into the groove holding screen in place. You can get it at any hardware store next to the roll of screen. Its a lot less expensive to do it that way. They also have a tool to help push the rubber into place. Its nice to have on hand in order to replace any screen in your home.

      Beautiful door by the way. Love it!!

  • Jenny Wright Montford Jenny Wright Montford on Jul 16, 2018

    How has the door held up over the past 3 years?

  • Terry Wereb Terry Wereb on Jul 16, 2018

    The use of 2x4s would be too "thick" to fit inside the frame of my doorway. Will 1xs hold up as well?

    • HASTINGS HASTINGS on Jul 16, 2018

      Terry yes 1 x will work you may need to use metal bracket so that it is sturdy

    • JBA8212850 JBA8212850 on Jul 17, 2018

      it states at the end: "You can see the entire tutorial on the blog at www.redcottagechronicles.com"

    • Tom Tom on Feb 23, 2019

      Yes it will but you should get a Kreg pocket hole jig to make a much stronger joint.

  • Susie Susie on Jul 17, 2018

    To me it is very pretty door but it's a lot of heavy would it supposed to be a screen door lightweight you don't show how to put the screen door together you don't show how to put the screen in you don't show how to hang the door you just showed the wood laying there then all of a sudden the door is put together. Can you start showing how to put those different angles done are you putting it with glue are you putting with nails what are you putting it with you're not explaining everything at all

    • JBA8212850 JBA8212850 on Jul 17, 2018

      it states: You can see the entire tutorial on the blog at www.redcottagechronicles.com

    • Mary M Mary M on Jul 17, 2018

      Well, she said if you wanted more detail... www.redcottagechronicles.com

    • Kathleen Kathleen on Jul 19, 2018

      I think these bloggers have a very limited space in which to describe their projects. That's why many of the more complicated ones usually refer you back to where they originally posted. All the details you mentioned will most likely be explained there.

    • Barbara Phillips Barbara Phillips on Aug 12, 2018

      Read her post instead of just looking at the photos. Everything is explained..including where to see the full project. Nice job on the screen door!!

    • Frank Hartwick Frank Hartwick on Feb 23, 2019

      i spent 1/2hour on her blog site could not find any thing about the screen door

    • Jeanne Martin Jeanne Martin on Feb 27, 2019

      @ Frank - on her blog site, in her DIY section go to page 7. Screen door site is there.

  • Shelli Kisch Haipek Shelli Kisch Haipek on Feb 28, 2019

    Really nice! My husband and I are going to do this. One question tho, we live in Wisconsin and would need a storm door, do you have one? Do you need one and if so what do you do?

    • Gelidorsch Gelidorsch on Jul 10, 2019

      For a DIY storm door add acrylic cut to size to it (tape the cut line and use a fine tooth saw blade, pre-drill the screw holes - tape the drill spot like you'd do with drilling in tile), i.e. Lowes carries those acrylic sheets. I did that for my screened porch door with left-over acrylic sheet pieces.

  • BrENDA BrENDA on Mar 02, 2019

    You didn’t tell us how you put the inside frame work together, Like was it glue are nails

  • James James on Mar 02, 2019

    I wish I was magic so I could just lay the wood down and it all jump together like it does for you. How do you do that

  • Alex Alex on Oct 28, 2019

    what nail gun did you use?

  • Sandy Sandy on Sep 28, 2020

    Love this but how is the screening secured?

  • Barb Barb on Apr 07, 2021

    I am unable to locate this screen door DIY project on your blog. Do you have a direct link to it?

  • Jenny Jenny on Jul 20, 2021

    Can I please borrow your Mr ? 😊


Join the conversation

2 of 193 comments